The other day an agent who is going thru my Savvy Prospector, Eight Weeks to a Full Pipeline for Life program emailed me to ask "Jennifer, did you really DO all this stuff when you were selling real estate?"
He asked because the Savvy Prospector (which helps agents build a sphere of influence business model from scratch) is pretty intense and he was feeling a little overwhelmed. My initial reaction to the question was "Well, of course I did. I wouldn't tell YOU to do it if I didn't do it! I practice what I preach!"
But... before I fired off that response I paused. And thought about it a few more seconds.
And you know what? No, I didn't "really DO all this stuff when I was selling real estate." At least, not once it started working!
Once I had a docket full of buyers and sellers to serve, my sphere of influence (SOI) activities slowed considerably. I went from lunch-dating twice a week to lunch-dating once a quarter. I stopped going to parties and events if I wasn't in the mood instead of forcing myself to attend in the interest of building my SOI. My personal "how ya' doin'?" phone calls became a thing of the past.
My other prospecting activities pretty much went by the wayside as well. I stopped taking floor time and sitting at (other agents') open houses. I ceased my newspaper and bus bench advertising. I stopped my (admittedly sporadic) mailings to my farm area.
Why did I stop these prospecting activities, some of which had clearly paid off?
Because I was busy taking care of my buyers and sellers. I was managing the moving pieces and parts of multiple real estate transactions in various stages of marketing to contract to closing. I was Doing My Job.
What do you think happened? Did my business crash and burn, leaving me suddenly lonely, broke and desperate for new clients?
Nope. In fact, my business just kept growing. Without any overt prospecting by me, my phone rang, I answered it, and I had a new client. Momentum + happy customers = more momentum and more customers to make happy.
So, back to the Savvy Prospector's question that kicked off this blog. To paraphrase - "Do you really have to maintain a high level of SOI activity throughout your career?"
Probably not. Not that continuing a high level of SOI'ing will hurt your career in any way (unless you're blowing off your buyers and sellers for your SOI lunch-dates and parties), but if you truly don't have time to keep it up because your current clients need you (and you're there for them), you'll be fine.
The thing is - happy customers are by far the best source of future business. Way better, even, than your best friends and supportive family members. Stay in touch with your current and past clients to the extent that they know you're still in business and can find you when needed and you'll get their future business and referrals.
But as you're working toward creating a database full of happy past clients, YES, SOI your heart out! Not only will it help you fill up that database, but it'll also get you in the habit of "doing" SOI as part of your daily routine - to the point where you won't even realize you're doing it!